Hard Fork Rhetoric Sparks $1 Bln Cross-Crypto Trading
Exchange announcements and Chinese regulations sparked a record-breaking trading frenzy in cryptocurrency ending Saturday.
The 24 hours from March 17 - 18 produced over $1 bln in trading volumes across cryptocurrency, likely the most ever recorded.
Erik Voorhees, ShapeShift CEO, reported the figures on Twitter, quoting analysis resource Coincap.io. The volume beat the previous 24 hours’ figures, responses suggest, themselves having set a new high. However, CoinCap’s data transaction volume data for the period is no longer available publicly.
Trading volumes accompanied a sudden 16 percent drop in Bitcoin’s price on Friday as exchanges signaled behavioral trends which would result from a Bitcoin hard fork.
The cost per coin briefly dipped below the psychologically-significant $1000 barrier, before stabilizing at around $1040.
Additional trading activity came from China ahead of the likely cementing of regulatory plans for exchanges and cryptocurrency businesses.
The week ending March 18 saw LocalBitcoins narrowly set a new all-time high for the Chinese market, with 60.69 mln yuan changing hands.
Ahead of a potential hard fork scenario, meanwhile, US exchange and wallet service Coinbase has told its customers not to store funds on its accounts.
In a blog post on Sunday, the company said:
“We may provide support for Bitcoin Unlimited in the future depending on market conditions and stability of the protocol, but we cannot guarantee whether or when such support may be available. Customers who wish to access both blockchains at the time of the hard fork should withdraw their BTC from Coinbase since we cannot guarantee what will happen during the hard fork or when this access may be available.”